Friday, August 30, 2013

The Peacemaker
Becoming the Peacemaker,
Rather than Saving Face

As followers of Christ, we are called to wage peace, not war, for our Saviour has brought us the peace that passes all understanding. As His disciples, we must renounce all violence and tumult. We Christians must become peacemakers in this world, for peace means reconciliation, and Christ is the author of peace and reconciliation.

When we Christians work for peace, it should hardly surprise us when we receive a special blessing attributed to being peacemakers, for "they shall be called sons of God." The message of the Sermon on the Mount is that they who seek to surrender to God, participate in God's grace as they go to their enemies to make peace, for they are seeking to do what their Father has done, loving people with His love.

As we surrender to God, and abandon the effort to get our needs met through the destruction of enemies, God comes to us in Christ to make peace with us; and we participate in God's grace as we go to our enemies to make peace. My friend, Jim Forest, of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship, says that "no one has ever been converted by violence".

Can we imagine for a moment what our nation would be like if we posted, "Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom, or "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon? We don't make peace by invading other countries, for peace does not come with war, but with dialogue AS PEACEMAKERS. Peacemakers are not simply those who bring peace between two conflicting parties, but those actively at work making peace, bringing about wholeness and well-being among the alienated.

We are peacemakers insofar as we speak about peace as something already victoriously won. As peacemakers we can celebrate the peace that is part of our glorious past or as something that will be won in the other world. Peacemakers must continue to point out injustice, hypocrisy, and suffering, so being peacemakers does not lead to becoming isolationists. We are peacemakers when our actions and our words bring to light problems far away from us.

We become a nation of peacemakers, not by military action, but by diplomacy and example, and putting aside all pride. As peacemakers we are able, with God's help, to humble ourselves before the world community, even after drawing that line in the sand, and find other ways to bring about lasting peace, knowing that violence always begets violence.

Bombing Syria will not bring about peace, for such action will only bring more waring parties into the conflict. We can not act as the child whose friends are watching him stand up to the bully. He knows it will end badly, but he is willing to fight the bully, and be bloodied up, rather than loose face. As a nation, it would be better to lose face in this Syrian conflict, than to take the chance we will bring on World War III.

That the United States continues acting as the police, on the world stage, has got to stop. We have proven that acting as such has had devastating consequences for our young men and women fighting in the armed forces, and has created enemies all over the world.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9)".

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

click on photo to enlarge

Friday August 30, 2013 / August 17, 2013
10th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Afterfeast of the Dormition.
Martyr Myron of Cyzicus (250).
Venerable Pimen, archimandrite of Ugresh (1880)
New Hieromartyr Alexis priest (1918).
New Hieromartyr Demetrius priest (1937).
Venerable Alypius the Iconographer of the Kiev Caves (1114).
Martyrs Paul and his sister Juliana of Syria (273).
Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucius, and Coronatus, with others at Caesarea in Bithynia (250).
Martyr Patroclus of Troyes (3rd c.) (Gaul).
Martyrs Straton, Philip, Eutychian, and Cyprian of Nicomedia (303).
"Svensk" ("of the Kiev Caves") (1288) Icon of the Mother of God.
The Armatian Icon of the Mother of God.
Venerable Leucius, abbot of Volokolamsk (1492).
Venerable Philip, monk of Sukhonsk, Yankovsk (Vologda) (1662).
Blessed Theodoretus, enlightener of the Laps (Solovki) (1571).
Venerable Ellas of Calabria (903).
St. Jeroen, hieromartyr of Noordwijk (857) (Neth.).
New Martyr Demetrius of Samarina in Epirus (1808) (Greek).
New Hieromartyr Archilleus Sirotin.
St. Tbeli Abuseridze of Khikhuni, Adjara (13th c.) (Georgia).
You can read the life of the saint in red, by clicking on the name.

THANKS to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.

With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

The Scripture Readings for the Day

2 Corinthians 1:12-20

Paul’s Sincerity

12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you. 13 For we are not writing any other things to you than what you read or understand. Now I trust you will understand, even to the end 14 (as also you have understood us in part), that we are your boast as you also are ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Sparing the Church

15 And in this confidence I intended to come to you before, that you might have a second benefit— 16 to pass by way of you to Macedonia, to come again from Macedonia to you, and be helped by you on my way to Judea. 17 Therefore, when I was planning this, did I do it lightly? Or the things I plan, do I plan according to the flesh, that with me there should be Yes, Yes, and No, No? 18 But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No. 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. 20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

Matthew 22:23-33

The Sadducees: What About the Resurrection?

23 The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, 24 saying: “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 25 Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. 27 Last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.”
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. 31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” 33 And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.

I invite my readers to listen to my
Ancient Faith Radio podcasts.

1 comment:

  1. a marvelous lower photo. You should name it "Seeking God."
    See the attention of the questioners, look at the listening skills shown, see those seeking and inquiring. All are involved even the lad with his back towards us. A true counsel of the elders.